The Path of the Artist: Deep Zen

By: Gaia Staff 

“If you pursued Zen to the Nth power, you would be talking about the artist. Because out of nothing, out of Void, the artist invents new space, where there wasn’t space before, and then he creates new energies there. Artists, in fact, produce unprecedented dimensions and worlds.”
from The Magician Awakes by Jon Rappoport

Among all spiritual paths described by teachers, now and in the past, the one represented by artists is unique.

Quintessentially unique.

The Artist’s Empty and Spiritual Path

Why? Because—and this is vital to understand—the path of the artist has no explicit cosmology, no preordained content, no catalog of wisdom.

In that sense, it is empty. In other words, no prior meaning has been imposed on it.

This is not a path replete with its own metaphysics.

No one is in charge of the path.

For all these reasons, the path of the artist is not normally recognized as being spiritual.

And yet it is. It is forged in freedom, and it has been established by artists from the dawn of time, from the moment the first human scratched the first drawing on the wall of a cave.

He was saying, “Reality is not final.”

His instinct was: “There is a path called Imagining, Creating, Inventing.”

“The wisdom of the clan isn’t the only wisdom.”

He was saying, “This path is for the individual.”

Who knows what price he paid for his daring?

But he opened the way for all artists to come.

Learn about the path of the individual artist in One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das.

The Zen Line

There is a “Zen line” that separates everything a person knows from the mystery that lies beyond.

Most people are content to rearrange and filter and study what they already know. They may glimpse the sea of mystery, but they don’t want to enter it, because: they have no map.

And yet, the key to greater consciousness is always in that mystery.

The mystery can be entered, but not through conventional means. It can be traveled, but not with someone else’s navigation chart. It can be illuminated, but not through a process of head-on discovery.

The mystery is progressively revealed through the act of creating. The act of imagining. The act of inventing what wasn’t there before.

This is what the artist does.

He brings about a dimension-shift.

Dimensional Shift

No one knows what he will create. He doesn’t know.

He makes quantum leaps, spontaneous actions, improvisations that have never occurred before, that are unique to him, in the moment.

As a resultant effect, he experiences insights that are beyond his current state of knowing, beyond what anyone else in the universe can transmit to him.

This path, obviously, is not a system. It is beyond all systems and structures. Beyond all charts, all diagrams, all blueprints, all cohered wisdom.

This path is always new.

That is its opportunity: to transcend repeating and restating what you already know and limiting where you can go.

It’s the opportunity to move out of the welter of thoughts that occupy your mind, into the action of inventing new reality—on a blank canvas, on an empty page, and most importantly, on the yet uncreated space of your future.

Whether we admit it or not, we are all artists who make reality. We are meant for that life, in the same way the body is meant for breathing and moving.

In these times, many people have opted for a more passive form of spirituality, in which acceptance of things-as-they-are is considered an end in itself.

Launching a Personal Revolution

Acceptance could be seen as a starting point. It is the platform for launching a personal revolution in consciousness, through art (in the widest possible meaning of that term).

Along that path, spontaneously, rise up answers to the most profound questions you have been asking, since it first occurred to you that life, mind, thought, and the universe might be more than they seem.

These answers are uniquely yours. They’re not replicas, they’re not copies; they’re not second-hand.

They incur no debt or obligation. They’re free, and they expand freedom. They’re yours, and they transform your energy. They’re new, and they initiate your intensified experience of the moment, the here and now.

Sign up for Jon’s free emails at

Deepen Your Spiritual Journey with Gaiam TV

Learn more about how to access your own creative revolution in consciousness. Check out Art Against the Machine on Open Minds with Regina Meredith.

Want to move out of “the welter of thoughts that occupy your mind” just like Jon writes about? Sign up for the Here & Now Meditation Guide and check out this video on how meditation can fundamentally transform your life.


Jon Rappoport

Working as a freelance investigative journalist for over 30 years, Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, “The Matrix Revealed,” “Exit from the Matrix,” and “Power Outside the Matrix.”
With a goal of stimulating people’s imaginations to consider possibilities far beyond their usual limits, Jon Rappoport has conducted research in areas ranging from deep politics, conspiracies, the hidden elite, alternative health, the potential of the human imagination, mind control, the medical cartel, and more.
In 1994, Jon Rappoport was a candidate for a U.S. Congressional seat in the 29th District of California and two years later organized The Great Boycott against eight corporate chemical giants.
Since 2000, Jon Rappoport has operated largely away from the mainstream because, as he puts it, “My research was not friendly to the conventional media.” He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Rappoport has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and has written for top publications such as CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and others.


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